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BCWF Wetlands Institute - Building Capacity for Restoring Wetlands

BCWF Wetlands Institute - Building Capacity for Restoring Wetlands
Each year, the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) hosts an intensive week of workshops led by wetland restoration experts, providing hands-on training for participants interested in constructing wetlands in their communities. The workshops are held in a different region of the province each year, and 2015 was the Okanagan’s turn. As BCWF Wetlands Education Program Intern Kayla Akins reports, this year’s institute was jammed-packed with information and opportunities for participants to get their hands dirty completing wetlands restoration projects in Kelowna and Vernon. The passion for wetland restoration and protection drew participants from all over BC to the Okanagan for the BC Wildlife Federation’s 13th Wetlands Institute. Participants included Biologists, Landscape Technologists and Architects, Environmental Planners, Coordinators, Educators, Consultants and more. We were joined by members of Environment Canada, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, to name a few. We dove right in on the first day with a presentation on wetland restoration techniques from Tom Biebighauser, a wildlife biologist and wetland ecologist. He covered various strategies for wetland restoration and construction. With this information fresh in mind, we headed over to the...
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Penticton Creek Completion Achieves Major Milestone in Restoration Project

Penticton Creek Completion Achieves Major Milestone in Restoration Project
 A major milestone has been achieved in Penticton Creek restoration this week, as the showcase project construction and the creek side planting program have been completed. “We have already had several reports of Kokanee navigating upstream with ease along the new creek bed. The difference you can see in Penticton Creek before and after the restoration project is amazing,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “The City of Penticton is grateful for the tremendous support of our partners in this initiative, including the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation - their financial support has really made this project possible.”   The restoration of Penticton Creek was identified during the 2012 Downtown Plan consultations as among the top priorities for residents and businesses, and has been identified among the long-term Downtown 101 action items to be completed for revitalizing the downtown. Construction started Aug. 4, a historic event that saw concrete pulled out of Penticton Creek for the first time in over 50 years. The showcase project was designed to demonstrate what creek restoration can look like, with the goal of restoring fish habitat, maintaining flood protection and stabilizing creek banks. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), provided significant funding for both the planning...
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Trail Cam Photos

Trail Cam Photos
We love to receive photos of our grant recipients' projects, especially when they feature the fish or wildlife benefitting from the work. Below is a series of trail cam photos captured at an HCTF-funded habitat restoration site in the Kootenays. What a fantastic variety of mammals using this trail!  First up, the mountain goats:  Elk: Deer: Moose: And now for the carnivores, starting with a couple of cougar shots: Bobcat: And a glimpse of a bear:    Do you have a great photo of BC's fish or wildlife? Enter our 2015 photo contest! First prize is a $500 VISA gift card. For full contest details, visit out photo contest page . 

New Docks at Poirier Lake

New Docks at Poirier Lake
Local residents have a new place to go fishing with the recent completion of the Poirier Lake docks in Otter Point’s William Simmons Memorial Community Park. The project involved installation of a boat launch dock and separate fishing dock. The boat launch dock is adjacent to a new parking area and trails providing access to Poirier Lake. The fishing dock is accessible via a new path connected to the park’s Panama Rail trail, about a 3-minute walk from either the boat launch parking lot or the Butler Road parking area, off Otter Point Road. The docks were installed as part of a Vancouver Island fishing infrastructure program, initiated by the Province of BC. The program was designed to encourage participation in angling through increased accessibility to fishing spots near urban centres. “The key to developing the next generation of anglers is to get young kids and families involved at an early age. Poirier Lake is stocked with a good density of catchable rainbow trout,” stated Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Minister Steve Thomson. “The new dock will provide kids with a great opportunity to catch a fish, hopefully getting them hooked on the sport for the rest...
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HCTF Takes a Look at the Kitimat River Cutthroat Trout Project

HCTF Takes a Look at the Kitimat River Cutthroat Trout Project
As part of our evaluation program to ensure HCTF funds are benefiting fish and wildlife conservation, HCTF staff regularly visit project leaders to get an in-depth look at their projects – both on paper (financials) and on the ground. In early June, HCTF staff biologist Lynne Bonner and financial officer Katelynn Sander travelled to Terrace to meet with Regional Fisheries Biologist Jeff Lough to learn about his project Kitimat River Cutthroat Trout Behavioral Assessments. The following is their account of the evaluation:   The Kitimat River drains a large coastal watershed and discharges into the head of Douglas Channel at the town of Kitimat . It is a high priority for coastal cutthroat trout because of impacts from multiple human activities in the watershed. It also supports a popular fishery for both local and visiting anglers and the angling effort is significant. Prior to this study, information on the coastal cutthroat population was limited and anecdotal. This project aimed to investigate the patterns and behavior of coastal cutthroat, in an effort to understand how best to keep the populations healthy and sustained. In a joint radio telemetry and genetic analyses study with the University of Northern BC (UNBC), key cutthroat...
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